Malignant melanoma is one of the most aggressive tumors which often gives metastasis to distant organs thereby limiting the chances of survival. Brain metastasis occurs in nearly half of the advanced tumors. In order to improve outcome early diagnosis is important. The discovery and better understanding of genetic and epigenetic changes is essential for developing new effective therapies, which can designate promising therapeutic targets. Melanoma most often is caused by gene mutations of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling pathway, and the cell cycle regulatory molecules, respectively. The molecular process of brain metastasis has not been fully elucidated. In our review we summarize the genetic alterations and molecular mechanisms playing a role in the development of melanoma and its brain metastasis.
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